THE VETERANS THIS YEAR:
She has won a bunch of titles thiy year, beginning in Tokio (d. another Veteran, Maleeva), which was her last title one year ago BTW. She reached on having succes and even won a title on Clay (!), following a solid Grass-court season where she shuodl have won this wimby Semi´s, IMO she blew a big chance there. The american HC-Season was just amazing! We dont need to comment on that. She is No. 1 in the race and seems to focus on this spot in Singles and the USOPEN-title. In dubz, she hasnt done much, most notable a Semis at the Pan Pacific with Morariu, but she clearly focuses on Singles this year.
My opinion: VERY GOOD YEAR BUT SHE LACKS THIS ONE SLAM.
Jenny couldnt play the AO cuz of an injury, she said she is happy to be back on court cuz she was not sure if she was able to come back at her return in Dubai. She reached one Semis until Charleston, lost to players like Daniilidou and Mandula. After a good showing at Berlin where she beat myskina at least, she had a great Rome-tournament with an upset over Serena Williams (I think u can call it an upset). At Roland Garros, she reached the Semis, beating Serena AGAIN before falling to Myskina on a very, very, very bad day.... At Wimbledon, she reached the quarters before falling to the improved Serena who should go no to reach the final. After that, she too ka break of competition and came back at Montreal (she withdrew from San Diego) and beat an in-form pierce before falling surprisingly to Likhovtseva ina good match. She withdrew from the Olympics as a former Champion there to fcus on her main goal this year: The USOPEN (like last year). Lets hope she wont choke again, she has not many chances left to win there for the first time (would be her 4th GS Singles Title). In doubles she didnt really do anything.
My opinion: JENNY HAS THE GAME, BUT DOES SHE HAVE THE MENTAL STRENGTH? I HIGHLY DOUBT SHE CAN WIN AT FLUSHING MEADOWS.
Ai Sugiyama is a player who has enjoyed her best-ever season in 2003 (for both Singles and Dubz) and started the year with a great tourney at the Gol Coast, where she first was 2 points from defeat in the quarters and then won the final against a red-hot Petrova who injured herself though. But THEN, she has done nearly nothing, her most shocking defeat might be the 6-1 6-1 trash by Maleeva in Tokio in front of "her" crowd. After a break she couldnt reestablish herself very much. But then, she had a surprisingly good Wimbledon where she won the furst set against Maria Sharpova who should went on to the title. And after this tournament her results were very consistent, a Semis and some quarters on the Aerican Hardcourt Summer Season. In dubz, she teamed up with Maleeva´s former partner Liezel Huber and had bad results first, while Huber had, whenever she played with others, good results. At Wimbledon they reached the final though, which shows they can be a good team. Maybe the singles success expalins Ai´s better doulbes play, too.
My opinion: A VERY STRANGE SEASON, GOOD START; THEN SHOCKING LOSSES; NOW CONSISTENT AGAIN, NEEDS GOOD RESULTS BECAUSE SHE HAS A BUNCH OF POINTS TO DEFEND IN THE AUTUMN.
After a good 2003, where she finished in the top-20, Paola showed an incredible consistent year so far, highlights were the French Semis and Wimby Quarters. With her consistent play, Suarez won the matches she needed to, had good results here and there, and this brought her to the Top-10 for the first time ever. In dubz, she has had a good season as well, winning the AO and Roland Garros.
My opinion: PAOLA HAS PROOVEN SHE IS VERY CONSISZENT; BUT THE LACK OF A BIG WEAPON WILL NOT ALLOW HER TO REMAIN TOP-15 WHEN PLAYERS LIE WILLIAMS, PIERCE OR SPREM ARE AT 100%.
Silvia is usually a player who has her up´s and down´s throughout the year. This time, she has had a great start of the year, while she had a good time between Eastbourne and Wimbledon last year. After a good AO (lost to Clijsters9, she nearly beat her at Oaris and lost in the final of Antwerp to her again. After that, she hasnt done too much to be honest. Most notable is the Rome match against mauresmo whee she was up 5-2 in the set and blew it. This big blow´s of leads is typical for her in big matches and she needs to overcome that - remember she´s a Veteran, she should have the experience.
After that, she wasnt very succesful, loosing to players she should beat. She needs to get back on track immidieatly. Doubles was very consistent with Francesca Schiavone.
My opinion: SILVIA IS A GOOD PLAYER WITH A LOT OF TOUCH; BUT WITHOUT MORE CONSISTENCY I DONT SEE HER MAKING THE TOP-10 OR 15 AGAIN.
For me she´s the same like Silvia, she has the game to be at the top, but she is way too inconsistent. This year, she lacks the big Indoors points from last year, because she didnt play much there and if so, not succesful at all.
This year, she started off well at the Gold Coast, loosing close to Sugiyaa (was two points from winning). After a double-bagel by Martinez (OK, Maleeva nad Martinez are friends, BUT not on court
) she went out in Round 2 of Australia. After a great run at the Pan Pacific´s and at Antwerp (close match to Clijsters) she had the bad part of the year, which she usually has (her Up´s and Down´s). From March to the end of May (at Rome) she reached just one quarters and lost 8 of 11 matches she has played). At Roland Garros though, Maleeva reached the 4th round, followed by a Quarters atv Eastbourne and another 4th Round at Wimbledon. After a competetion break cuz of her marriage she reached anbother Quarters at Montreal (loosing to Myskina). She missed her main goal though, which was to do well at the Olympic´s, loosing a dramatic match to Daniilidou which she should have won (like usually). In doubles, she dropped her regular partner Liezel Huber and reached two finals with Huber (played 2 times this year) at the Gold Coast and in Tokio (w/Likhovtseva). Bsides that, she won not much, which explains her ranking shrinked to no. 41 last week 8was as high as at Number 12 in February). Her Singles Ranking is close to the top-20 again, where she was this year.
My opinion: WITH INDOORS COMING UP AND JUST A FEW POINTS TO DEFEND, MALEEVA SHOULD COME BACK AT LEAST TO THE TOP-20, IF NOT A BIT MORE.
A very mixed year for the veteran. She has done a lot of good results on "her" surface, the clay, but that was it. She reached the final at Charleston, quarters at IW and played a competetive match with Mauresmo in Rome. She was hyped as one of the biiig darkhorses at RG, but lost early. with a lot of points she had to defend there, at Wimbledon and Eastbourne, Martinez fall back in the Rankings. In doubles, she played solid with Husarova, and had some good tournied with others partners.
My Opinion: MARZINEZ WILL SLIP A BIT, BUT IN DONT SEE HER RETIRING SINCE SHE HAS NO GOALS (HUSBAND, KIDS....). NEXT YEAR MIGHT BE THE LAST THOUGH. I LIKE HER; BUT HER BEST DAYS MIGHT BE OVER - JUST A CLAY-COURT WONDER NOW.
Chanda hast started the year really well as she reached the Sydney quarters,lossingi n a great match to Henin-Hardenne. At Australia, she had a close encounter with myskina in the 4th Round. and lost in 3 sets. In Tokio, she was scheduled to play her least favourite opponent, Magdalena Maleeva. She had to reitre though (she has had a walkover over Venus the Round before, too). She has been sidelined for months, came back In Vienna and lost to Jidkova in her first comeback-match. Her Wimbledon wasnt very succesful as well, neither was the FedCup. She came back with two losses to Myskina in San Diego and Montreal, didnt really impress there. At the Olympics, she had another tough draw and lost to Mauresmo.
My opinion: HER BEST DAYS ARE BEHIND HER. SHE WONT RECOVER AND BE TOP-10 AGAIN UNLESS SOMETHING SURPRISING HAPPENS.
Mary came back this year at Paris, where she immideatly reached the final, a very good tournament for her. She lost in Antwerp early, didnt play in America and came back at the clay-court season, where she couldnt convince with good results. She lost to Venus Williams at the French open in two sets, there were some lcose games, but she hasnt had the form she had earlier that year. Then, she won the Grass-court tourney at s´Hertogenbosch, her first-ever grass-title BTW. She defeated Claudine Schaul in the final. At Wimbledon, she lsot her firstr match, another disappointement which shows her inconsitency. She played great at Montreal, defeating Weingärtner und Pratt easily before loosing to capyp with a bad performance. At athens, she was great, sdoing some damage and knocking-out Venus Williams before loosing to Henin-Hardenne. She has had some nice doubles-tournaments with Amelie Mauresmo, I saw her match vs. Vento-Kabchi/Widjaja and everyone who saw it knows how great and funny it was. She smiled so much.
My opinion: SHE LACKS THE CONSISTENCY FROM FORMER DAYS; BUT IS STILL DANGEROUS ON GOOD DAYS. SO WATCH OUT!
Amy has enjoyed one of her good seasons. After a great start with the title in Hobart in the Australian HC (Summer/Winter)
She has played Challengers in the beginnnig of the year to upgrade her Ranking a bit. She hasnt done too much, but has had some good results here and there. The best win for her clearyl came at Wimbledon though. In Round 3, she defeated Anastasia Mysknia in a close battle and played very well from the beginning on. She then lost a close match to sharapova (IMO, the hardest match for Maria besides Davenport). She went on having good results on the American HC-Summer, reached a Semis and is in one this week, again. She lost to quality players and beat the plyers she wa supposed to. Now she climbed to a Top-25 spot. She can be happy with her year, and remember that she is a real real known comode on the tour.
My opinion: WILL USE HER EXPERIENCE AND GOOD SHAPE TO BECOME TOP-20 AGAIN: MIGHT BE DANGEROUS AT THE USOPEN AND ON THE FAST INDOOR SURFACES!
Patty started the year off VERY well. At the first slam, she reeached the Semis and lost to Clijsters. Thosepoints improved her Rankings, she was back in Top-15 at times. Besides that, she hasnt done too much though. She had tough battles with players she should beat easily like Vakulenko at Antwerp etc. She lost to players close in the Rankings as well (like Maleeva in Warsaw). Except AO, she has had just a few highlights, Birmingham was quite OK, the oLympics, too, but that is it, really.
My opinion: SHE ISNT A BIIIG VETERAN; BUT HAS PLAYED A LONG TIME ON THE TOUR. SHE HAS HAD ONE GOOD TOURNAMENT AND A FEW BARELY GOOD RESULTS; VERY INCONSISTENT AND AFTER NEXT YEAR´s AO SHE WILL HAVE TROUBLE, PROMISED!
What do u think about the veterans? How are they doing?
Now one IMPORTANT question: Who will retire?
I think Davenport (esp. when she wins the USOPEN and becomes No. 1 again), Maleeva (husband) and Farina-Elia (husband, has said she would retire very often before, but seems to think about it more right now).